On This Date In History: The guy who invented the cruise control on your automobile was born on this date…in 1890! Seems the little item was invented years before it became popular. He actually had the device patented in 1945 and called it “Controlmatic”, “Touchomatic”, “Pressomatic” and “Speedostat” before finally settling on “cruise control.” It didn’t show up on automobiles though until Chrysler offered it in 1958. Here’s the kicker. Inventor Ralph Teetor was blind after age 6 yet went on to be a successful manufacturing executive, entrepreneur and engineer. Remarkable. Perhaps this will inspire you to do great things amidst difficulty. One other thing. Here is an obituary of H. David Sturdy that claims it was he who invented the cruise control as an employee of Teeter and not Teeter. I’ve not seen his name show up anywhere else. Perhaps he is the Hector Heathcoat of the auto world.
Charles F Kettering patented another automotive invention on this date in 1915. He and Edward Deeds had been fooling around with a better way to start a car than getting out and cranking it up. Their electric “self starter” was ground breaking and led to a decrease in broken backs. They formed the company Delco which became a part of GM. These guys brought all sorts of innovations to the automobile that are still in use today. Interesting thing about Kettering…before he started working on cars, he invented the first electric cash register.
This Date in 1998 is a day that President Clinton would like to forget…he testified before a grand jury in the Paula Jones case and got hung up when they started asking about Monica Lewinsky. He gave his infamous rhetorical question about the meaning of “is” and said he gave “legally accurate” testimony. You know the rest.
Perhaps the President might have been better off turning on, tuning and dropping out doing as the folks were doing at a farm in Bethel, New York on this date in 1969 where they Woodstock Music and Art Fair was winding up. Funny…I don’t recall any stories about art. I was but a lad but I have seen the movie a bunch of times. It inspired me to go to big festivals. Willie Nelson’s picnic was an experience…as was the Houston Jam when it was about 105 degrees in the always humid Houston. I have stories to tell but I won’t…instead you can see pictures and read stories about the one that started in all…Woodstock.
Weather Bottom Line: Enjoy today. Maybe an isolated t’storm in 90 degree heat. After today, it kinda tanks. What is left of Tropical Storm Claudette will be in northern Mississippi by early Tuesday. It probably won’t be discernable but the moisture from the former, short lived tropical system will get caught up in the flow ahead of a frontal boundary. The GFS has a shortwave coming through the flow to enhance t’storm chances while the NAM does not.
But, so what. Added moisture, a front coming in, afternoon heating. Look for some t’storms floating about on Tuesday afternoon. The front doesn’t quite get here and goes on the retreat but lingering moisture from Claudette will probably conspire with the sun to provide scattered activity. Then, Thursday afternoon, a pretty strong front comes down and our rain chances go up markedly. This is the front that is supposed to be strong enough to get to the East Coast and break down the ridge in the Atlantic such that it will cause Hurricane Bill to turn before it makes it to the United States. At least that’s what all of the models say…except one. The UKMET wants to sneak Bill under the trof. We’ll see. Anyway, the front is pretty strong so the story will be the storms and perhaps heavy rain on late Thursday with decidedly cooler temperatures into the weekend…well below seasonal averages, again. Wednesday into Thursday there is a slight risk for severe weather and I wouldn’t be surprised to see that area expanded eastward for the Thursday/Friday time frame which I would think include Louisville.